ROME (AP) – A U.N. agency has warned that a livestock epidemic in Congo that has killed more than 75,000 goats is the worst in a decade and is now threatening goats and sheep in neighboring countries.
The disease, called peste de petit ruminants, or PPR, is highly lethal, with an 86 percent mortality rate among goats. It is caused by a virus that is similar to measles in humans.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said 1 million goats and 600,000 sheep are at risk of contracting the disease. To protect them, farmers have been moving their herds away from infected villages, but that has only spread the epidemic to healthy flocks of animals.
FAO said it plans to vaccinate at least 500,000 animals and will try to limit the animals’ movements.
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